The old age adage 'You are what you eat' is absolutely correct. In a world where we are consumed with “a pill will fix your health woes,” please know this may not always be the answer.
Food is the ultimate medicine.
The food we consume becomes us. Our dietary habits influence potential diseases.
Specific foods may trigger health conditions. On the other hand, certain foods are medicinal and protective to our bodies. Let’s take a deeper look inside the food-as-medicine world:
How to Make Food Your Medicine
Using food as medicine is simple. Replace greasy, fatty foods with greens, superfoods, and proteins. Diets rich in whole grains, healthy fats, and vegetables are proven to reduce the risk of disease.
Eating the right foods can help reduce the risk of:
· Heart disease
· Neuro-degenerative conditions
· Autoimmune disorders
Healthy foods strengthen your health and help fight off infection. Unhealthy foods cause inflammation within the body. An unhealthy gut is a root cause of autoimmune disease development!
How Food Protects Your Body
There are many foods that protect and nourish your body.
Vitamins and Minerals
You remember your mother telling you to “take your vitamins.” As much as you may not want to admit it, she was right! The body requires these essential nutrients to nourish itself.
Many foods today are depleted of vitamins and minerals. A deficiency of vitamins and minerals, i.e. vitamin C or D, can wreak havoc on the body. The long term effects may injure your heart, cause immune system disorders, and increase risks of cancer.
Proteins and Fats
Many people confuse fat with healthy fat. Many superfoods, such as avocados, provide extreme nutritional value and are loaded with fat, healthy fat. The body requires this fat!
Protein is optimal and plays a vital role to overall health. Protein assists with metabolism and muscle growth. Amino acids assist with proper immune functioning and help the body absorb nutrients.
Fiber is absolutely necessary for a healthy gut. Fiber breeds healthy bacteria within the stomach and promotes proper digestion. A healthy stomach boosts your immune system and can help ward off disease. Colon cancers and strokes can occur in people with low-fiber diets!
Foods with Medicinal Properties
If you are looking to use food as medicine, this is a great place to start.
Nuts – Nuts are proven to keep you healthier longer and promote vitality. They also lower cholesterol which prevents buildup in your arteries. They also reduce risks of blood clot formation and offer a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids aka reducing inflammation and strengthening your heart.
Seeds, like sunflower and pumpkin, are also great as “medicine” as they provide similar nutritious essentials to your body.
Fatty fish – Fish such as salmon and sardines are wonderfully beneficial to your body. They fight inflammation in the body and prove protective of the heart to prevent heart disease.
Spices and herbs – Spices and herbs such as cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, rosemary, sage, and parsley are well-known for their medicinal properties. Incorporate them into your foods and teas.
Teas – Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and assists decreasing inflammation within the body.
Vegetables – Specific vegetables such as kale, broccoli, spinach, and other leafy greens provide antioxidants and boost immunity. These green veggies reduce the risk for heart disease and increase vitality.
Fermented Foods - help breakdown molecules in your body. They promote healthy digestion, prebiotics and probiotics, that block the spread of cancerous cells and lower inflammation. Bacteria and health play vital roles to one another; fermented food helps promote healthy bacteria in the gut, thus a healthy body.
Using “food as medicine” is the best way to establish a healthy lifestyle and promote longevity. Being healthy begins with what you eat.
Food IS medicine and is exactly what the doctor ordered.
For more health information, contact Dr. Michael Lewko today!